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Anti-hormetic diet

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while we are talking hormesis and xenohormesis and doing our best to eat rinds, skins and whatever plants contain as much as possible of phytochemicals like phytates, lectins, phenolic compounds, Dr. Gundry says just the opposite, in his book. Sorry Dr Gundry, I ain't goan buy yer book!





Most of us have heard of gluten—a protein found in wheat that can cause widespread inflammation in the body. Americans spend billions of dollars on gluten-free diets in an effort to protect their health. But what if we’ve been missing the root of the problem?

In The Plant Paradox, renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry reveals that gluten is just one variety of a common, and highly toxic, plant-based protein called lectin. Lectins are found not only in grains like wheat but also in the “gluten-free” foods most of us commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and conventional dairy products. These proteins, which are found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed by nature to protect plants from predators (including humans). Once ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.

At his waitlist-only clinics in California, Dr. Gundry has successfully treated tens of thousands of patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases with a protocol that detoxes the cells, repairs the gut, and nourishes the body. Now, in The Plant Paradox, he shares this clinically proven program with readers around the world.

The simple (and daunting) fact is, lectins are everywhere. Thankfully, Dr. Gundry offers simple hacks we can easily employ to avoid them, including


  • Peel your veggies. Lectins are concentrated in the leaves, peels, and seeds of plants; simply peeling and deseeding vegetables (like tomatoes and peppers) reduces their lectin content.
  • Shop for fruit in season. Fruit contain fewer lectins when ripe, so eating apples, berries, and other lectin-containing fruits at the peak of ripeness helps minimize your lectin consumption.
  • Swap your brown rice for white. Whole grains and seeds with hard outer coatings are designed by nature to cause digestive distress—and are full of lectins.

With a full list of lectin-containing foods and simple substitutes for each, a step-by-step detox and eating plan, and delicious lectin-free recipes, The Plant Paradox illuminates the hidden dangers lurking in your salad bowl—and shows you how to eat whole foods in a whole new way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saul, I read the wiki voice thouroughly, but it just says that lectins are phytotoxins and that proper cooking neutralizes most of them.


Of course raw beans are undigestible and detrimental.


Cooked beans are more digestible and the residual lectins which have not been destroyed contribute to the beneficial effects of hormesis.



The crucial point here is that most people are not intolerant to gluten and lectins. The supporters of the paleo and primal movements woul like to sell the idea that everyone si intolerant to cereals, beans, dairy products. The evidence is opposite. The intolerant ones are the minority, luckily, and to these the hormetic effects may turn into out of proportion, deleterious autoimmunitary reactions.


Dr. Grundy's proposal should be targeted to a restricted group of unhealthy readers, those very sensitive to (specific) phytotoxins. It sound like an hoax to propose the book as beneficial to everyone.

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  • 1 month later...

I got the book from the library and skimmed through it.  I did not care for the author's style.  He makes broad claims with certainty while providing little to no evidence.  Often the only justification for his ideas is that he suggested his patients try them and they got better.  I find him more annoying than Dr. Greger.

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Another day, another book attempt to strike it rich. There is an endless appetite for easy "one weird tricks" out there, for health, for wealth and for well-being. This appetite is catered to and exploited by hucksters big and small, as well as true believers some of whom are more bonkers than others. The parade of diet books reaches back into the late 1800's. This is just another one. A different cardiologist recently struck it rich with "Wheat Belly", so this muppet figured "why not me" and grabbed another marginal effect, in this case lectins and ran with it. Let's see how far this one goes. For that matter, what do you think Dr. Greger is doing? I'm not saying Dr. Greger is a huckster, or that his motives are anything but the highest desire to make people healthy, but he too engages in some fudging and sleight of hand when it comes to evidence.


Aren't we on this board also an example of such a desire for solutions? Sure, we need a much better sourcing and a more sophisticated pitch, but let's be honest - we are the same. After all, the whole movement also started with a book, and one with a pretty extravagant title to boot - "The 120 year diet", now doesn't that have all the hallmarks of a huckster enterprise? Yeah, "it's different this time" we claim - but to a casual observer it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. 


We all want to do better. How do you tell apart the wheat from the chaff, the lectin bad from the lectin good? Everyone thinks "their way" is the best. The proliferation of diet books is a classic symptom of unsettled science. Nobody (other than the mentally ill) argues over the physics necessary to launch a rocket at the moon, because the science of physics at that (Newtonian) scale is settled. But it wasn't always so - google "phlogiston" and "aether" - for some lively disputes about basic physics and chemistry. But that went away. Today, we have wide disputes about diet and medicine in the same proportion to unsettled nature of dietary and medical science. When science cannot provide settled and consensus answers, as it manifestly has failed so far in diet and medicine, speculation will take over and the space opens for hucksters and the misinformed to flourish. The alchemists and searchers for the philosophical stone also were all over the map. Same here - we want to live longer and better and science doesn't - yet - have enough of the answers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I listened with interest to Ben Greenfield's interview to Dr. Grundy in BG's podcast installment by the provokative title:


The Plant Paradox: Are Lectins *Really* That Harmful Or Is Dr. Steven Gundry Wrong?


I must confess that some of Dr. Grundy's research on the evolutionary purpose of lectins sound quite interesting. At the end ben Greenfield fields the critical questions: what about the blue zones and what about the hormesis mechanism? Dr Grundy's answers do not sound objectively very plausible. Areas where traditionally legumes and whole grains are not consumed means areas where the main source of protein is meat, fish or dairy products. Such areas do not appear to exhibit exceptional longevity. Something is amiss.

Also, the assertion that the lectins in green leaves are good and the lectins in graisn and legumes are bad should be backed by large evidence.



Ben:  And guys getting enormous man boobs.  Yeah, you're right, eight.  Single digits, it's scary, but yeah, so now we're dealing with the opposite issue in a way.  But that's an aside. What I was going to ask you was what about Dan Buettner's book “Blue Zones”, right?  Where he has all these different characteristics and two of them that you see in there are consumption of wild plants and consumption of legumes of all things, which I know kind of irks a lot of Paleo enthusiasts, but it gives me pause.  How is it that we see areas of longevity having a very high intake of plants and legumes?

Dr. Gundry:  Yeah, I think it's a great question, and I did this on Facebook Live with Maria Shiver last month, and she knows Dan really well.  I think Dan and I would agree on a lot of things except that.  And here’s the deal that I think Dan missed is that there are a couple of studies that I sight in my book.  Let's look at the Mediterranean diet which she and I both praised.  There are negative factors in the Mediterranean diet that are offset by positive factors, and it turns out in meta-analysis.  The negative factors of the Mediterranean diet are grain and bean consumption, and that actually offset by all the polyphenol consumption in the Mediterranean diet in terms of red wine, in terms of olive oil, in terms of the fruits and vegetables they eat, but it's these negative factors that are counteractive.

I'll give you an example of the Okinawans.  The Okinawans, 80, 85% of their diet is a purple sweet potato.  The old Okinawans, it's not that anymore, and they almost know so far, and they almost know rice, but fascinatingly if you read the Okinawan diet in the book, the researchers actually said, “I can't get over this”, they said, “Gee, some of the oldest living people in the world, and we're studying their diet, and wouldn't they be so much healthier if they ate brown rice instead of the white rice they're eating?”  And you go, “Wait a minute guys, you're studying some of the oldest living people in the world.  Maybe it's the white rice instead of the brown rice that is helping keep them healthy to a very old age.”  But because we know that brown rice, which has the lectins in it, is so much healthier for you, than white rice.  They actually went so far to say, “Wow, think of how much healthier they'd be if they ate brown rice which is just intellectual superiority at its worst.”




Ben:  Yeah interesting.  Now what about this idea though, potentially again to throw another devil's advocate, type of question.  Now this idea that lectins might have a hormetic effect, that small amounts of immune and inflammation modulation might actually give you some type of longevity or some type of stress resilience especially in the gut.

Dr. Gundry:  Yeah, I like that theory a lot, and I talked a lot about it in my first book “Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolutions”.  I like the idea of that which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.  And that's why the lectins in bitter greens I think are so incredibly useful because from what we can tell, they don’t have the ability to penetrate the gut wall like the lectins in, for instance, grains and beans do.  And they don't seem to have the ability to attach to receptors and are in the thelium in our blood vessels.  So yeah, I'm a huge fan of the lectins in bitter greens, but let me give you an example, a personal example.  My wife and I eat large amounts of dark green leaves, large amounts, but my wife a couple of years ago bought a NutriBullet, remember when that was the fad?  And she started hardcore.  She made kale smoothies out of basically pure kale, and after my first kale smoothie, now let me preface this.  When you grind everything into a fine pulp, you've actually now made every possible lectin in that leaf available instead of going through the digestive process of breaking the leaves down with your digestive enzymes.  And after my first NutriBullet of kale, about three hours later I was in the bathroom with explosive diarrhea, and you go how the heck did that happen?

Well, I was perfectly tolerant to kale that went through the digestive process, and my bugs had a shot at it, but when I released it in molecular form, my gut decided to get rid of it as quickly as possible, and I'll never forget that.  So the doses, the poison, but the way the doses consumed is also part of our elegant system.  There weren't any NutriBullets right in kale.

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